Archive for March, 2009

Earth Hour: 2009

I’m pretty sure that around 8:30pm on Saturday, my neighbors assumed that I didn’t pay my electric bill. From the outside, all you could see was my at my kitchen table, eating dinner alone next to a candle. My dinner was delicious, thanks for asking, and why candle light? Well, I wasn’t trying to get romantic with myself, by any means. You could say, however, that Mother Earth and I were on a little date. We celebrated Earth Hour together, her and I. I loved it, told  her that I’d call her soon.

But what IS Earth Hour, blog lady? I’ll tell ya! Earth Hour started out as an experiment in Sydney, Australia. The city voluntarily turned out their lights for one hour on March 31st, 2007 to see how much energy they could save and to see how many people are interested in saving it. The city went black the second that the hour started, and instead of everyone panicing or dreading it, each person that cooperated turned off their lights in celebration.  In 2008, it went global and major cities all over the world took part in Earth Hour. 50 Million people participated in Earth Hour 2008, and it’s guessed that even more people participated in 2009, this past Saturday.

I’m Robin from Austin, TX, and I Vote Earth!

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March 30, 2009 at 8:38 am 1 comment

Google Black – Saving Energy

Recently, I found that there’s a feature on my Mozilla Firefox that allows me to turn the background of my Google page to black. The first thing that I thought: ick. I love the look of a clean, sleek white background. Unfortunately, so does my powerstrip. It takes about 74 watts for a computer screen to display a white background and that means that I’m sucking energy out of my powerstrip as though I’ve turned on another light.

I have my computer on all the time and most of the time I’m able to turn the monitor off or reduce the brightness. When I’m working, however, I can’t avoid the fact that I need my screen to be on. And when I’m working, I like to use the world wide web, via the internet phenom–Google.com— to do research. Considering how much each and every one of  us uses Google, it’s probably a good place to start trying to save money in the digital arena. I found this info at ecoiron.blogspot.com (Via, you guessed it, Google.com)

Take at look at Google, who gets about 200 million queries a day. Let’s assume each query is displayed for about 10 seconds; that means Google is running for about 550,000 hours every day on some desktop. Assuming that users run Google in full screen mode, the shift to a black background [on a CRT monitor! mjo] will save a total of 15 (74-59) watts. That turns into a global savings of 8.3 Megawatt-hours per day, or about 3000 Megawatt-hours a year. Now take into account that about 25 percent of the monitors in the world are CRTs, and at 10 cents a kilowatt-hour, that’s $75,000, a goodly amount of energy and dollars for changing a few color codes.
That’s something to chew on.

r

March 28, 2009 at 9:30 am 3 comments

Hey, did you know?

Did you know that you can recycle those plastic shopping bags? Even Walmart has places where you can bring in your plastic bags and recycle them.

Next time you go shopping, start a place in your kitchen where you can store the plastic bags. Once you get a bunch of them, tie them together in one bag and bring them to your local Walmart. There’ll be a green box near the entrance where you can just toss the bags in and recycle them.

Try it, you’ll feel good about it, I promise!!

r

March 27, 2009 at 9:43 am Leave a comment

Verterra – Plates made from fallen leaves

If you’re like me, you probably want to sustain the planet as much as possible and therefore want to limit all of the junk you toss in the garbage and consequently into landfills. I have one way that you can improve your waste footprint and help Mother Earth: Verterra.

It’s kinda fun to say and you know what, it’s fun to use, too! Verterra puts out a line of plates, bowls and trays that are formed using fallen leaves. The plates and bowls are reuseable as long as you rinse them by hand and are not constantly using the plates or bowls for liquids. Things like tomato sauce or intensly colored soups tend to stain the leaves. But guess what! When you can’t use them any more, you can just toss them in your compost pile! They’re biodegradable, of course, because they’re made of leaves. These plates and bowls are made with minimal processing, no bleach or any other chemicals to alter the state of the material. The leaves are pressed with steam to form them into the shape of bowls and plates.

I can’t wait to start using my Verterra plates and bowls. I know I’ll be ordering some of these. I’m just in love with the idea of eating off of a plate like this. I feel terrible when I’m at picnics and I have to use styrofoam or plastic plates that are going to end up in a landfill somewhere. I like the feeling that I can limit the trash that I produce and help this planet get back to the way it once was.

March 25, 2009 at 7:51 am 1 comment

Daily Juice – Cafe Review

If you live in Austin and you’re looking for a really neat place to enjoy a living foods meal, head over to Daily Juice, STAT!

My Hubs and I enjoyed a delicious smoothie as a multi-part date that we enjoyed last week. I was blown away by the place! I had no idea that there were places like this in Austin. I’m new to the city, having only moved here about 4 months ago. Before I moved in, I thought that it was going to be all rodeos and monters truck rallies. Turns out I was wrong. Dead wrong. Austin is one of the most hip places that I’ve ever had the pleasure of living. While Savannah is deep-fried and greasy, Austin is natural and delicious.

Daily Juice is a living foods cafe, which means that none of the food that you get will have been cooked or exceeded 190F in temperature. All of the cheese are made using sunflower sprouts, “bread” is not bread at all, as that would require baking, but instead made with Chia seed. They feature a plethora of wonderful and delectable smoothies as well as a menu of Kombucha. Head over to the site to check out nutritional info and directions.

Zach and I went to the cafe on Duval and 45th. They even have this really cool room where you can take off your shoes and enjoy your food while seated on pillows.

March 23, 2009 at 12:36 am Leave a comment

POM Wonderful 100% Pomegranate Juice —Yum!

A couple of weeks back I got an email from a very nice Janny Chou over at the POM Wonderful company. She mentioned Pomegranate juice. I was hooked. She offered to send me a sampling of the company’s product for me to try and enjoy. I jumped at the opporitunity and about 5 days later, I recieved this box of POM Wonderful Pomegranate Juice.

hpim6958

I have to admit, I thought it might have been a scam. I was worried that instead of a box of POM, I’d get a box of anthrax. Turns out, you can actually trust some of the people that you encounter on the internet. Who knew! Well, needless to say, it only took me about 30 seconds to pop open one of the cute little bottles of POM juice and try a sip: What’s the verdict, you ask? I’ll tell you.

(image found at POMWonderful.com)

(image found at POMWonderful.com)

Well, the advertisers of this juice were spot on when they decided to call it “wonderful.” I will agree and give this product an A! Pomegranate juice, I believe, may be an acquired taste. When you first drink it, you get this sweet, intense flavor of the bright red fruit. After you swallow, you get the bitterness that I personally love. If you love the bitterness of straight-up grapefruit juice, you’ll LOVE this juice.

Here are some facts about POM Wonderful:

– It’s 100% Authentic – the only brand of Pomegranate juice that contains 100% authentic pomegranate juice! Funny– If you actually read the ingredients in the juices that you buy in the stores, you’ll find out that most of the juices that *seem* to be only one kind of juice are really a blend of apple juice, grape juice and pear juice mixed with traces of the flavor that the label says it contains. The POM Wonderful company also has complete control over the processing of the juice, so there are no unnecessary steps. They grow the fruit, pick it, juice it and bottle it in the bottles that they make on their own premises.
– Pomegranate Juice is PACKED with Antioxidants – One 8oz serving of POM is more Anti-oxidant potent than red wine, grape juice, acai juice, vitamin c, vitamin e and even blueberry juice!
– POM has been shown to improve cardiovascular health – With heart disease being the #1 killer of Americans, this is important! LDL (lousy cholesterol) has been shown to decrease, blood flow to the heart increases, arterial plaque buildup in patients with atherosclerosis has decreased in 30% of the test group and lastly, POM juice inhibited ACE (angiotensin converting enzyme) by 36% after only two weeks of daily ingestion.
-The bottle is soo darned cute. I wanted to keep them and use them for everything… That is until my hubby brought out his trusty newspaper clipping detailing the fact that I shouldn’t re-use plastic one-time use bottles. Drat!

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POM also sent me some information on POMx pills. Taking one POMx pill is the equivalent of drinking an 8oz serving. That’s good news! For those of us who want to cut the calories of the juice (150 cals for 8 oz) out of our day, we can still enjoy the benefits of POM Wonderful by taking one of these pills each day.

For more info, please feel free to head over to the POM Wonderful homepage.

March 22, 2009 at 12:30 pm 3 comments

Weekly Roundup! 3.14

wprThe featured products are as follows, from left to right, top to bottom: Palmiers, Pithivier, Chaussons, Mille Feuille, Brie En Croute, Tarte Tatin, Lobster Newberg, Salmon En Croute, Band Aux Fruits

March 21, 2009 at 12:31 pm Leave a comment

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